In 1900, cheetahs thrived across Africa and parts of Asia. Today, that picture is vastly different. Africa’s cheetahs occupy a thin slice of their former habitat and number only 6,674. This vulnerable big cat has lost 89 percent of its historic range — and the remaining habitat falls outside of protected areas. The reasons for the crisis include human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of prey, and a lesser-known threat: the underground pet trade.
Not only are carnivores critical to the long-term viability of ecosystems, their presence is also a strong indicator of healthy prey populations. As they face a combination of threats — retaliatory killings by livestock keepers, declining prey base, habitat decline and human conflict — conserving ecologically viable and functional populations of large carnivores in their natural habitats is paramount but challenging.
Because we love our supporters, and we know our supporters love Africa's unique wildlife, we wanted to give you a special treat this Valentine's Day.
You may have seen that this past Sunday, Dec. 4, was International Cheetah Day—a day the conservation community has dedicated to celebrating the world’s fastest land mammal and to raising awareness about the threats it currently faces.
Though they live next to Tanzania’s largest national park, residents in the villages surrounding Ruaha National Park see no benefits from the presence of wildlife, particularly carnivores.